Memorial Day weekend has come and gone. A long weekend filled with plenty of sports both good and bad to help kick off the unofficial start of summer. Here is my weekly installment of What I Learned.
Home Plate Collisions Are Part of The Game
This past weekend the hot topic in baseball was catchers getting injured in home plate collisions after San Francisco Giants phenom was injured and lost for the season. One of the annoying things in sports is one freak play occurs or a bad call is made by an official and people start calling for change. Whether it was Pete Rose crashing into Ray Fosse in the 1970 All Star Game or AJ Pierzynski and Michael Barrett colliding in the Cross-Town Classic. Home plate collisions are part of the game and should not be banned. Could some of the techniques be changed so that legs aren't as exposed,of course. The thought of removing that play for safety reasons is just plain absurd. Whats next? Removing sliding because of the concussion Justin Morneau received last season on a slide into second base.
The Indy 500 Just Isn't the Same
Sunday marked the 100th anniversary of the Indianapolis 500. Back in the day the 500 was a big-time sporting event. Not to the level of the Super Bowl or Final Four, but was at least as popular as the Masters or NBA Playoffs. Even the casual sports fan could name five or six drivers and would tune in to watch. Now it seems to have become the equivalent of the NCAA Tourney Play in Games, the NCAA Hockey finals, or the French Open. Basically you'll watch if you stumble across it on TV, but wouldn't make an effort to find it or add it to your holiday weekend plans. This year had a crazy ending with rookie driver JR Hildebrand crashing in the final corner allowing Dan Wheldon to win. This is the equivalent of Buckner booting the ball in the 1986 World Series or Chris Webber calling a timeout when Michigan had none left resulting in a technical foul. Those events are brought up every year in their respective sports. This mistake by Hildebrand will be out of the news by Wednesday and rarely mentioned outside of the Racing community.
Ozzie Guillen Goes Off.......Again
Once again Ozzie Guillen went off after a Sox game this past weekend. Going off on his team's performance and how he is wiped out already and it's only May. These rants are becoming the equivalent of a Severe Thunderstorm Watch. You know they are going to happen every Spring and Summer. Most of the time they turn out to be nothing. They become so common you just tend to ignore them when you see the scrolls on TV. If Ozzie is truly unhappy and tired then quit. Fans and players can only put up with the tirades so often. The way things are looking, I'm sure we'll have another Storm watch next week.
The NHL and NBA Really Missed the Boat
The nice thing about long weekends is that it usually allows for couch potatoes to get their fill of all their favorite sports. This weekend we only got to see baseball, a golf tournament with few big names, tennis, and auto racing. The NBA Finals and Stanley Cup Finals really should have started this weekend. I know the schedule is set in advance for TV purposes, but they should leave room for modification. Having one game Sunday and another Monday would have resulted in fantastic ratings and would have capped off a great weekend with some great sports action. The fact that ABC probably didn't want to have to move "The Bachelorette" for the NBA or NBC want to move "The Voice" or a Law and Order rerun for the Stanley Cup shows where these networks priorities really are. I would have much rather watched Dirk and LeBron battle for their first championship instead of "the most dramatic rose ceremony of the season." I guess I'm in the minority.
Let me know what you learned. Follow me on Twitter @Timsieck.